Has the Family Court Changed? Or Hasn’t it?
There has been a lot of media attention recently on the proposed merger of the Federal Circuit Court and the Family Court. The Federal Government is pushing for it, but there is a lot of opposition to it, so what is actually going on?
The Federal Government introduced two bills to the House of Representatives on 23 August 2018 outlining the proposed restructure.
The main purpose of the bills is to merge the two Federal Courts into one court to then be called ‘the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia’ and for this to commence from 1 January. The new court will be separated into a Division 1, reflecting the current Family Court, and a Division 2 being the current Federal Circuit Court. The proposal would also create a new appeals division to hear appeals in family law matters.
It is expected that the bills will be debated in parliament in the coming weeks, and it is likely that it will then be referred for review to a parliamentary committee, at which time the public will have an opportunity to make submissions to the committee about the proposed bills.
For now, the court structure has not changed and the proposals have no effect on the current matters before the court. The proposed reforms are in the very early stages and we are keeping a keen eye on the restructure proposals, and the possible outcomes for our clients moving forward.
If you are going through a separation or divorce and need assistance, call us on (07) 3221 4300 for a fixed cost no obligation initial consultation.